3 Tips to Bridge the Gap Between Your Creative and Media Teams

Developing new collaborative workflows

Organizations across industries are struggling to identify and find solutions for inefficient workflows.

More than half of marketers rank leveraging performance data to improve online advertising efforts as one of their top three organizational priorities, according to a survey by Adobe and Econsultancy. Additionally, a third of marketing professionals cited siloed organizational structure and poor data sharing protocol as ongoing challenges, according to the Winterberry Group.

So, how can your company ensure that your creative and performance teams come together to meet your organization’s strategic needs?

Consumers’ move from desktop to mobile has removed barriers in communication and given advertisers more opportunities to deliver their messages. It has also given audiences the power to decide when to engage with content and when to keep scrolling.

Advertisers must create high-quality content that is contextual, location-specific and immediate to win the hearts and clicks of their audiences. Mobile has changed consumer behavior and challenged advertisers to reach consumers on platforms that act as microcosms.

Effective communication requires more than equipping creative teams with copywriter and art director duos. There is also a need for better workflows and knowledge sharing between creative and ad buying teams.

Traditionally, brands partner with media buying and creative agencies separately. The two would work in parallel, with each team taking care of its area of expertise without taking full advantage of the experience and knowledge of the other.

However, with new advertising channels emerging, brands are unifying their ad buying and creative teams to combine the best of both worlds. Together with my team, we have identified three ways these teams can make their work more impactful.

1. Understand each other

The most successful creative teams are the ones who understand the benchmarks that performance teams use to measure the success of creatives. Likewise, performance teams work best when they learn how to translate their metrics into effective creative briefs.

Creative teams should partner with the performance team and tap into different sources of data to find insights. Together, they can leverage past performance data, consumer behavior and industry insights to build hypotheses that allow them to test and execute creative ideas.

When the teams understand each other, they’ll be able to use creativity with a performance growth mindset. The tools and skills used to achieve these differ, but unifying the processes is critical for any organization looking to grow.

2. Nail the trifecta of data, automation and creativity

There are limitations for brands that want to produce fresh and relevant content and test the hypotheses generated from data insights. For creative and performance teams to optimize and produce creative at scale, they need to automate and streamline workflows.

There are many options for organizations that want to improve operational efficiencies. But centralizing the efforts of creative and performance teams and automating processes and workflows on a single tool is paramount to their success.

When creative and performance teams share a commitment to continuously test and experiment with audience insights they can unlock greater results. To get there, they need to unify their processes to improve the ad creative by using the insights they gather while executing at scale.

3. Reimagine creative performance workflow

To unlock the role creativity plays in performance, organizations need to future-proof their marketing teams to drive higher business impact. To achieve that, your creative and performance teams need to share common goals.

That means involving creative teams early on during the initial planning phase. Often creative teams and agencies are considered and briefed after the decisions are made making the creative process reactive instead of collaborative.

The two teams should also strive to use the same language. Both should understand what CPA, CTR, on-brand, aspect ratios and layouts mean. They should also work to put together an iterative creative process.

When performance and creative teams collaborate, they can evaluate existing creatives’ performance, establish new objectives, develop a creative testing plan as well as produce a set of creatives for future campaigns. The key to an agile workflow between these teams is to make the touchpoints between them more meaningful.

Jose Sanchez leads the Creative Studio team at Smartly.io that provides innovative creative solutions for advertisers leveraging the latest technology, data and creativity. Powering beautifully effective ads, Smartly.io automates every step of social advertising to unlock greater performance and creativity. We combine creative production and ad buying automation with outstanding customer service to help 600+ brands scale their results.